BOISE, Idaho – Luck had an unusual way of finding Andrew Cruz of Pocatello last weekend when he bought and scratched an Idaho Lottery $5 Big Money Cashword Scratch ticket. He stopped in the Common Cents store at 17th and Holmes Road in Idaho Falls and almost didn’t buy a ticket, but then decided to because he needed something to do before the start of the movie he was headed to see. Cruz initially started scratching the ticket in the movie theatre and thought he’d won $20. When the lights dimmed and the movie started, he slipped the ticket into his pocket and watched the film.
The next day, on his way back to Pocatello, he had the ticket scanned. “When they told me I had to go to Boise to claim it, I thought I’d only won $1,000,” said Cruz who just returned from duty in Iraq and is enrolled at Idaho State University studying sports management. “When I got home, I realized I’d missed a word where I folded the ticket. After I scratched it off, I kept looking at it and looking at it. Sure enough, it was a $50,000 winner!”
A mixed martial arts professional, Cruz had a fight that night but said it was hard to concentrate, and ended up not winning.
“I was probably the happiest guy ever to lose a fight,” he said with a wide grin.
Cruz plans to invest his winnings until he finishes college and then use the funds to open his own mixed martial arts gym.